Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. Although the cause of asthma is unknown, there are things about the disease that are common among everyone who has it. This includes an asthma trigger, which is a substance that causes airways to become filled with mucus while narrowing due to inflammation.

An individual with asthma has airways that are consistently inflamed, and because of this, there are many things that trigger a reaction to them and cause an asthma attack. Every individual has a unique set of triggers. A vital part of controlling asthma involves recognizing your asthma triggers, and working to keep them minimized as much as possible.

Food Allergies

There are many foods and food additives that can trigger an asthma flare-up. It is important to avoid any contact with any food that you may be sensitive to in order to protect yourself. Foods that are common allergens include cow’s milk and other dairy products, eggs, nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, seafood and even fruit.

There are many food preservatives that can cause an asthma flare-up in susceptible individuals as well. Check carefully when eating any processed food to ensure that it doesn’t contain a preservative that could be dangerous to your system.

Smoking and Other Irritants

Asthma is more common in smokers, and babies born to mothers who smoke have lungs that are not as healthy as babies whose mothers refrain from smoking. Smoking as an asthmatic individual can bring on an attack, and smoking can be harmful to you even when it is not you doing it, but someone nearby. Avoid smoking, as well as closed spaces where anyone is smoking. Other irritants can be problematic also, such as dust, pollution, vapors, perfume, and chemicals commonly used to clean.


Exercise can trigger an asthma attack, and it is common for an asthmatic individual’s airways to narrow with strenuous exercise. However, it is still important for those who suffer asthma to exercise since it is good for the entire body, and even benefits the lungs when done safely. In order to partake in exercise without putting yourself in danger, be sure to warm up beforehand. Do not take on a more strenuous activity than you are able to handle, and instead build up slowly to it.

Upper Respiratory Infections and Other Infections

Upper respiratory infections can be dangerous when you have asthma. Other infections can cause a flare-up… even something as simple as a cold, bronchitis or the flu. These triggers bring on an attack by constricting a person’s airways. For this reason, any asthmatic individual who feels a respiratory or other infection coming on is wise to seek immediate treatment in order to resolve it before it becomes a danger.


Medication, prescription or otherwise, can be a trigger for asthma. Aspirin is a common trigger for many people with asthma, as well as other common anti-inflammatory medications. Seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist when you need to use a medication in order to ensure its safety for you.

An asthma attack can be triggered by many things. When you or a loved one has asthma, it is wise to figure out what the triggers are in order to avoid them. Make a list and do your best to cut these substances out of your environment, so that you can live in a safe and healthy manner.